Master of None
|Master of None|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10 (list of episodes)|
|Location(s)||New York City|
|Running time||26-31 minutes|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1 with Descriptive Video Service track|
|Original release||November 6, 2015 – present|
Master of None is an American comedy-drama web television series, which was released for streaming on November 6, 2015 on Netflix. The series was created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, and stars Ansari in the lead role of Dev, a 30-year-old actor who attempts to make his way through life in New York City. The first season consists of 10 episodes. The show's title alludes to the figure of speech, "Jack of all trades, master of none" and was originally suggested by Ansari. The series later incorporated a song of the same name by Beach House. Ansari says it took months to come up with the show's title and he and Yang did not ultimately agree on it until all of the episodes were completed.
- Aziz Ansari as Dev Shah, a commercial actor whose best-known work was a Go-Gurt commercial.
- Noël Wells as Rachel, Dev's primary romantic interest. Rachel works as a music publicist.
- Eric Wareheim as Arnold Baumheiser, Dev's friend who Ansari describes as the "token white friend". Wareheim notes his character's friendship is based on his real-life friendship with Ansari as they both enjoy eating.
- Kelvin Yu as Brian Cheng, Dev's friend who is the son of Taiwanese immigrants. An interview with Yu in Vulture.com noted that Brian represented the "onscreen version of co-creator Alan Yang, Dev’s chill, super-good-looking friend" and that he was a "hottie".
- Lena Waithe as Denise, Dev's friend, who is a lesbian. In an Entertainment Weekly interview, Waithe said that her character wasn't originally intended to be African-American or gay but that Ansari wanted Denise's personality to reflect Waithe's own, so they rewrote her part.
Also making recurring appearances in the series are Todd Barry, who plays a movie director named Todd; Colin Salmon, who plays a fictionalized version of himself; H. Jon Benjamin as Benjamin, an acting colleague on the film The Sickening; and Ansari's real-life parents Shoukath and Fatima, who play Dev's parents. There have been guest appearances by Danielle Brooks, Claire Danes, and Noah Emmerich.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date||Prod.|
|1||"Plan B"||James Ponsoldt||Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang||November 6, 2015||101|
|Dev hooks up with a girl named Rachel, though their night ends awkwardly after his condom breaks during sex. Later on, Dev and his friend Arnold attend the birthday party of their friend's one-year-old son. He runs into another friend and her kids there and babysits them for a while. Already 30, he begins to wonder if he might want kids someday. In the end, he decides that for now he enjoys being childless.|
|2||"Parents"||Aziz Ansari||Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang||November 6, 2015||102|
|After auditioning for a movie called The Sickening, Dev and his friend Brian discuss how their entire lives are the way they are because their immigrant parents sacrificed everything to move to America. They thank them by taking them to dinner, and discover the harshness of the lives they went through. Dev hopes that this will all help bring him and his parents closer together.|
|3||"Hot Ticket"||James Ponsoldt||Story by: Harris Wittels|
Teleplay by: Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang
|November 6, 2015||103|
|Dev gets two tickets to a secret show and starts asking girls out. Only two respond, and the one he takes, Alice (Nina Arianda), ends up being overly aggressive and a kleptomaniac, and she is kicked out of the club. He then runs into Rachel and they have a good time, but when he attempts to kiss her he discovers she has a boyfriend.|
|4||"Indians on TV"||Eric Wareheim||Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang||November 6, 2015||108|
Dev runs into Ravi (Ravi Patel) at an audition and they discuss how the majority of roles they audition are for accented, stereotypical Indians. After auditioning for a sitcom called 3 Buddies. Dev accidentally receives an email thread from the producer saying they can cast only one Indian and includes a racist remark. The producer tries to apologize by treating Dev to a Knicks game and visiting a VIP area. Still upset, Dev begins to involve an Indian advocacy group. However, the producer dies and the replacement producer goes with a Perfect Strangers concept.|
Special Guest Star: Danielle Brooks as Dev's agent. Cameo: Busta Rhymes.
|5||"The Other Man"||Eric Wareheim||Joe Mande & Aniz Ansari||November 6, 2015||104|
|Dev's friend Denise invites him to a work party, where he meets her publication's food critic, Nina (Claire Danes). Nina is intent on having sex with him, but before they do the deed, Dev discovers she is married and backs out. After conferring with Denise and Benjamin, a fellow actor from The Sickening, they agree that an affair may be doable if she does not have kids or if the husband never finds out. However, one day when the husband (Noah Emmerich) cuts in front of him at an ice-cream store and buys and destroys the last special, Dev goes ahead with the affair. The husband eventually finds out. Weeks later Dev and Denise run into them and learn that the affair brought up several problems the couple faced, and Dev's sleeping with Nina actually saved their marriage.|
|6||"Nashville"||Aziz Ansari||Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang||November 6, 2015||105|
|Rachel texts Dev that she and her boyfriend have broken up, and to make their first date memorable, he boldly asks her if she would like to go to Nashville for a day with him. She agrees, as long as she would get home in time for her niece's recital on Sunday night. The two have an outstanding time, but he takes a detour on their way to the airport and they miss their flight. But she still likes him and they keep dating.|
|7||"Ladies and Gentlemen"||Lynn Shelton||Story by: Andrew Blitz|
Teleplay by: Sarah Peters & Zoe Jarman
|November 6, 2015||106|
|While working on a commercial, Dev finds out that a colleague had been pursued by a man on her way home. When Dev tells Denise and Rachel about it, the women share similar experiences. Dev realizes he is privileged just by being male, and he identifies himself as a feminist. While hanging with the cast of his commercial one night, he discusses with the director that all the women in the commercial are just there for eye candy. The director revises the commercial so that all the main speaking roles are given to the women, and Dev is fired for not fitting into his role. Although he is disappointed, the women are thankful that he stood up for them.|
|8||"Old People"||Lynn Shelton||Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang||November 6, 2015||107|
|When Arnold's grandpa dies a week after Dev and Arnold visited him, Dev reevaluates his relationship with his own grandparents and Rachel feels guilty for not visiting her own grandmother more often. Dev and Rachel visit her grandmother (Lynn Cohen), but Rachel is summoned to a work emergency and Dev stays with her grandma. The two get along and he sneaks her out of her retirement home to enjoy a fancy dinner, but she escapes when he isn't looking. He and Rachel search for her, and finally find her singing at a popular jazz club.|
|9||"Mornings"||Eric Wareheim||Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang||November 6, 2015||109|
|Rachel moves in with Dev and the two have good times together and fall in love. But as the months pass, they start finding problems: their conflicting amounts of cleanliness; the fact that Dev hasn't told his parents that he's even seeing Rachel. Then Rachel learns that a work promotion would require her to move to Chicago for six months. She has a breakdown about whether or not she wants to keep her job. She decides to go to Chicago for the interview. At home, Dev starts using a pasta-maker she gave him when they first moved in together, and he discovers that he's great at making pasta. She returns and says she turned down the job, but her PR firm will make accommodations for her to make sure she's happy with them. Their relationship continues happily.|
|10||"Finale"||Eric Wareheim||Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang||November 6, 2015||110|
|Dev and Rachel attend a wedding and he thinks about their life together and realizes that if they get married, it might only be because it's the point in life in which society dictates they should settle down. Dev meets his dad for advice, who asks if he really wants to be an actor, and Dev is unsure. He, Rachel, his friends, and his parents then attend The Sickening's premiere. Dev's scenes were cut from the film, and Rachel drunkenly yells at the director. Dev shares with Rachel his concerns about their future and yells that if they're not 100% sure they'll be happy with each other forever, they shouldn't even try. She moves out, and a few days later informs Dev that she's moving to Tokyo, as she has always dreamed of this and must do it before it's too late. Dev meets up with Benjamin (who was also cut from the film), and both talk about their relationships. Benjamin says that even after being married for 23 years, he still isn't 100% sure it'll last forever - stating that "100% doesn't actually exist". After, Dev makes up his mind and also buys a plane ticket: to Italy, so that he can study at a culinary school.|
On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 100%, based on 53 reviews, with an average score of 8.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Exceptionally executed with charm, humor, and heart, Master of None is a refreshingly offbeat take on a familiar premise." On Metacritic, the series holds a score of 91 out of 100, based on 31 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". James Poinewozik of The New York Times called it "the year's best comedy straight out of the gate" and a "mature rom-com." IGN's Matt Fowler gave the entire first season an 8.8 out of 10, saying "by the second episode it takes flight and offers up a very funny, unique take on food, dating, relationships, etc (the usual suspects). Ansari is a smart and engaging presence and his perspective on things lends itself very well to this type of single-camera comedy. And his supporting cast, particularly Wells, is on point. A few episodes may have fizzled out right at the finish...but there's no denying Master of None's success overall." James Dempsey of Newstalk described the show as "like a transatlantic cousin of Ricky Gervais’ Extras, another story of an actor navigating show business and his personal life. But whereas that show relied heavily on stunt cameos of Hollywood actors playing pantomime versions of themselves – along with painfully blunt awkwardness that attempts to wring every possible laugh out of increasingly cringe comedy – Master of None is content and confident to let the viewer warm to it entirely on its terms. And it's all the better for it." Ansari's father, Shoukath, also received widespread aclaim for essentially playing himself, with many critics considering him a "showstealer".
Top Ten Lists
Master of None was included on many Best TV Shows of 2015 lists. Jaime Lutz from Time Out New York has called it the best TV show of 2015. In addition, it was awarded the runner-up position by Matthew Gilbert from The Boston Globe, Mark Peikert from TheWrap, and Paste. Master of None was also ranked as one of the top 10 shows of the year by many publications, including Complex, Entertainment Weekly, Film School Rejects, The Guardian, IGN, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, People, TIME, TV Guide, Vanity Fair, Variety, Vogue, and The Washington Post.
|2015||American Film Institute Awards||Official Selection – Top 10 TV Programs of the Year||Master of None||Won|
|2016||Critics' Choice Television Awards||Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Aziz Ansari||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Comedy Series||Master of None||Won|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy||Aziz Ansari||Nominated|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series|| Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang
|Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series|| Aziz Ansari
|Peabody Award||Master of None||Won|
|Television Critics Association Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Comedy||Master of None||Nominated|
|Outstanding New Program||Master of None||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Comedy||Aziz Ansari||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Master of None||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Aziz Ansari||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series|| Aziz Ansari
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series|| Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang
|Gotham Awards||Breakthrough Series - Long Form||Master of None||Pending|
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